Title: While I Ponder
Genre: Friendship
Rating: K+
Couple: Implied Link/Tetra

Four years ago, Link's childhood was snatched away from him and the entire world weighed down on his small shoulders. The boy had witnessed many things, many horrors, suffering torturous experiences, but learning the value of loyalty and bravery. While he was slightly dim, and tended to have his blank moments, Link was impressively capable.

However that didn't mean he could shrug everything off as if it were nothing. A lot had happened to him, and at such a young age, it was almost disturbing how he had faced death countless times, yet still managed to survive. Arguably, no child should be able to possess so much strength. Today, memories of his adventures continued to haunt him, to enter his dreams at night and frighten him.

Older and more mature, Link still suffered the images he had witnessed four years ago. The peculiar creatures, the blood, monstrous water, the cold and darkness, Ganondorf. It was his face which lunged into Link's mind and tormented him. Constantly.

What baffled Link was that the other individual who faced these horrors seemed unnerved by it all. In fact, she never mentioned anything related to the matter, almost as if she didn't care. For some reason, this irritated Link. Of all people, she should be thinking about it more than him. Not only did she face Ganondorf as well, but she discovered, in such a short amount of time, that she was a Princess to a forgotten Kingdom. Why hadn't she spoken to him about this?

It became too much. Link had to talk to her. The two had been apart for a couple of months, but were reunited once again. Miraculously, she allowed him to stay on her ship, as long as he obeyed her orders and didn't get in the way. This was fair play.

When he did find the time to speak, it wasn't very suitable. Tetra was very sensitive about anyone knocking on her door. Her private quarters were strictly off limits, and none of her crew had the guts to disobey such a fierce command. Link wasn't a member of the crew though. He wasn't a pirate either. Link knocked on the door speedily, and quickly entered, knowing if she had time to respond she would only turn him away.

As soon as he barged in, Tetra threw a hot glare at him, but before she spoke he beat her to it: 'Tetra, I need to talk to you.'

'For your sake, I sincerely hope there's another Tetra sitting behind me...'

Link was used to her threats by now. He continued: 'What I need to say is important, although it's more of a question.'

'Well if it's anything related to your death, I'll gladly be a part of it.'

'Do you not ever think about what happened?'

Both knew what he was referring to. Link waited patiently for answer, watched her squint her eyes slightly, before frowning. 'Think about what...?'

'You know what.'

A long pause was shared between them–– Tetra never hesitated. She was sharp-minded, and always had a plan prepared for anything. As Captain, she had to be this way. She had to think fast. Right now, it was as she had shut down completely. Link swallowed. Did the past actually haunt her as well?

Then the silence was broken when she sighed, rolled her eyes, and stood to her feet. 'Why would I think about that, Link?'

Link's heart dropped. She actually didn't care? 'Oh, it's only a small issue,' he muttered sarcastically.

'Yes, it is.'

'Is it?' His voice had dropped; it was quiet, unconvinced.

Clearly Tetra was growing aggravated by this conversation. In some ways, the fact she was a Princess did affect her. How much, he wasn't sure. It was hard to look her in the eye for they expressed a furious wind, one he wouldn't be able to tackle, and he was afraid this wind would attack him.

To his surprise, she averted her gaze. 'You've been thinking about it?'

'It's very hard not to.'


'... I don't know. I always dream about what happened, and I'm always reminded that–– well, you have a different name.'

Tetra knew it wasn't the name which bothered him. 'You can't go on like this, Link.' She met his gaze, and her eyes had softened. Almost sympathetic. 'Look, sometimes I think about it. I do, but I can't let this fact get to me. My duties lie here, not below. There is Royal blood in my veins, but that doesn't mean I have to be Royal.'

'I know.'

'More to the point though, Link... I have a life here. And I don't want to sit on a throne and rule. It's not what I want. I can't see myself doing that.'

'You're a Captain of a ship.'

'Seriously? You're comparing my ship to Hyrule?'

Link shrugged, 'Sort of.'

Folding her arms, she craned her neck to the side. Link narrowed his brows, not sure how to feel with the way she was studying him. She always seemed to be in thought. 'Maybe you should find a way to not exactly forget but... move on.'

'Actually, I've been doing research.'

Tetra's eyebrows shot up. 'Wait, you can read?'

'Uh, yeah, actually, I can.'

'... wow...'

'Anyway, I've been researching Hyrule. It's very hard to find books concerning the Kingdom, but I feel the more I know, maybe the better I'll feel.'

A smile reached her lips, 'Oh, that's marvellous, Link.'

For one second, he actually thought he had impressed her.

Until the smile dropped completely.

'What in the name of are-you-there-Godesses-it's-me-Link were you thinking?'

'I thought it would help––'

'No. Feeding yourself more information about Hyrule only makes it worse! Books provide answers, but they offer loads more questions, and you can't waste your life thinking about a place which no longer exists. Do you want me to repeat what I just said, or do I have to grab someone who speaks fluent moron?'

Link clenched his fists, beginning to feel more and more annoyed. 'Fine, what do you want me to do?' Rarely did he ever raise his voice, especially to her, but, this time, he couldn't bottle in his rage. It was all becoming a little too much. Nothing about this seemed fair. Why did he have to suffer these memories, and not Tetra?

Why did he have to suffer the worst of it?

Running a hand through his thick, blonde hair, Link shook his head. 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell.'

'No, I... quite like it when you do.'

Link pulled a curious expression at her, but Tetra wasn't looking. Hand in one pocket, she was in thought again.

'What is it that bothers you?'

So many things. At the end of the day, though, it all counted to one issue. Her. 'I just don't want to forget. I don't want us to forget. Sometimes it feels like we're alone –– or I'm alone. Almost as if we're the only people who know about Hyrule's existence, and it... it gets to me, you know?'

'I know, yeah.' Tetra stepped forwards and allowed a crooked smile. 'You went through so much; I'm never going to forget what you did, Link, I promise. Nor will I forget that I am heir to a throne which is underwater, or that every person who skips past us is an ancestor of Hyrule. For the record, you're not alone. I saw the same things as you did.'

It was nice, her being like this. Usually Tetra was closed off, and this didn't help the fact he was very fond of her. There was something comforting about the fact she had a reasonable side, and that she was willing to listen to a friend, or whatever he was to her. That she did care.

Link nodded, 'Thank you.'

'It's okay. You all right?'

'Yeah, I'm just––'


'... Yeah...'

She smirked, and for a second it looked as if she was about to give him a hug, but the Captain quickly realised just who she was, so took a step back, a little awkwardly.

'Just so we're clear,' she said, 'That dress was really uncomfortable.'

Link snorted. 'I thought you looked great in it.'

'I'm sure you would too.' Tetra sniggered at his unamused expression. 'Off you pop now, Princess.'

Slouching his shoulders, Link approached the door. 'Just so we're clear, Zelda, I did save your ass twice... No, three times?'

'I was drunk that time, and for some odd reason, there was water in the way and––'

'Yeah, yeah, you cover it up how you like,' Link said, grinning at her. 'I know exactly what happened. "Oh, Link, save me!" Ha, the way you flapped your arms around, as if you were going to drown. For a pirate, I'd expect you to swim.'

'I was drunk! And you'd better watch that mouth of yours, or you'll find yourself wanting to be saved.'

The male let it go, feeling rather smug, and exited the cabin. Tetra watched him leave, somewhat amused, but more irritated at him. She would get him back for that.

She was just about to turn away when she spotted a stubby man, bent behind the door, and in the process of straightening up in an attempt to flee. However he froze once he realised the Captain had caught him eavesdropping.

Shit, was all Niko could think of.

'If you don't leave, I will cut you.'

Without a moment's hesitation, Niko straightened his posture, but was stopped midway when Tetra spoke again.

'Oh, now you're leaving. I might as well go kill you anyway if you do that...' Pause. 'Stay.'

Niko didn't move.

'Good girl.'

author's note: I hope you enjoyed this. It's arguable whether Tetra knowing she was a Princess would actually bother her, but I decided to just have Link ponder over the matter. In a way, I feel as if the issue here wasn't completely resolved, so I might write a chaptered fiction centred around a similar idea. For now, I'll just leave it as is. This is my first time writing anything to do with WindWaker, so I hope it's okay. Thanks for reading.